February 17, 2006

another gym day

Posted in blogging, music, tales from the gym, technology at 7:27 am by Marise Phillips

proud of myself for going without K. also proud that i figured out how to type (jab) from the exercycle. i’m not doing it to show but rather to kill time πŸ˜‰

and while i’m at it, i should also give myself kudos for finally recharging & refilling my nano! i was getting soo sick of the stuff on there. now, i finally get to hear DJ Kicks-Thievery Corp at the gym!


August 14, 2005

a weekend music extravaganza!

Posted in music, technology, toys, weekend at 3:59 pm by Marise Phillips

my goodness gracious me, but it was a musical weekend.

that is, after the total collapse I had on Friday. not sure why, but I started to fade right after lunch, and could not wait to get home and hit the sack. passed out the minute I got home, practically, waking up at 11:30pm (j came in and i thought it was morning already!) for a quick cup of tea and a bit of viz comics… then back asleep again at midnight, til 11 the next morning!! must've needed it or something πŸ˜‰

so on saturday morning, j tells me we can do anything/go anywhere I like, as long as we swung by a music store, as he needed to buy a microphone. he and his friend Dave have been doing a "boys' music night" once a week now (sorta like how guys' guys tend to have their poker nights, i suppose), and j has really built himself a nice little digital studio setup.

since we also needed some breakfast, and i was in the mood to leave the city, i looked up breakfast places in the east bay, and decided it was time, at long last, to try Cafe Fanny — Alice Waters' spinoff (cheaper, faster version) of Chez Panisse. After a nice, simple breakfast amongst the, uh… multiculturally clad denizens of Berkeley, we got back in the car and spotted a store on Shattuck called The Starving Musician.

it was a great place, full of quality used gear and very nice salesguys. while jason was lingering over the microphones and chord books, i found myself in the back section playing with the percussion instruments. they had quite a nice selection of handheld drums like djembes and congas. so i started thinking how much fun it might be to get something like that to bang around on at home. unfortunately, the only pair of bongos they had were a bit ratty-looking and mended with duct tape, so we decided to take a look and see if we could find any music stores on Telegraph Ave.

of course we went into Amoeba (where I picked up dub versions of a couple of my favorite cds: suzuki by tosca, and richest man in babylon by thievery corporation. good good cds!!) but after a trip up and down both sides of the street, we found nothing. jason popped into Rasputin's, asked where we could find a musical instruments store, and was told to head back to shattuck. we found a funky old place down there that was going out of business, but they had very little in stock. specifically, there were no congas or bongos to be bought, discount or no.

so of course we ended up at guitar center. which was semi-unfortunate, since it's always such a zoo there on saturdays. to make matters worse, I'd never been in the percussion room before, and so was wholly unprepared for the chaos and cacophony. but i found some bongos that seemed decent and bought them, as j would not let me take the 3+ foot tall standing congas that were on sale for $189.

 oh come on… they're not that big!!

it's been fun playing them, and has made me feel like picking up the bass again, so that's good.

and if that were not enough musical goodness, we headed back to guitar center today, as j finally settled on a digital piano he was ready to buy. which gave me a good excuse to buy some more stuff: headphones I'd been wanting for a while, plus some downbeat loops and a "Teach Yourself Piano" book.

the new piano is fun! can't wait to start learning…

June 16, 2005

iTunes = Evil

Posted in music, shopping, technology at 8:22 pm by Marise Phillips

It all started with PayPal. They offered me 5 free songs from the iTunes Music Store if I verified my bank account. (Sounds like those famous last words: "The first one's free…" have been hit by inflation!)

I took the bait, verified my account and, a few days later, received my iTunes coupon via e-mail. It sat there for a couple days, beckoning me.

Last Saturday morning from bed, I attempted to cash out.

I went to the iTunes Music Store, created an account, and balked — they asked for my credit card information up front. It's not that I'm at *all* squeamish about that sort of thing, don't get me wrong… but I wanted my free songs NOW, man! Didn't wanna be slowed down by having to hunt down my purse and pull out my card. So I canceled out, a bit miffed by the whole experience.

Yesterday, at work, I decided to try it again. Gave up the card details, picked out my 5 tunes — all the while never realizing I could actually preview songs before buying them. So I ended up with a song I already had (on a different computer, so no way of cross-referencing, boo…)

But, worst of all, I'd caught THE FEVER.

I spent the next hour or so browsing the Music Store, alt-tabbing back and forth between Amazon (for recommendations) and iTunes (for potential downloads), until I settled on an album to buy. Yes, that's right: BUY. Never mind that I'd only signed up in the first place to get my 5 free songs.

But the album only costs $9.99, I reasoned with myself. That's much cheaper than buying the CD online (even with my employee discount), plus tax, plus shipping, and then (worst of all!) waiting for it to arrive.

On top of that, iTunes is sooo easy! And that's *precisely* how they hook you in. One click of the button, and the songs "magically appear" onto your hard drive in a matter of 10 seconds. Instant gratification junkies UNITE!

But I'm proud to say, I stopped after the one CD.

Today (woops) I bought another.

I started to wonder, how much money would I spend in a year if I bought one $9.99 CD every day?

But then I realized, I was never very good at math πŸ™‚

June 1, 2005

Music Quiz

Posted in music, quizzes, shopping at 12:10 pm by Marise Phillips

Total Volume?
On my work machine: 4.35 GB
On my home machine: 11.2 GB
On my Creative Zen jukebox: 2.8 GB

Last CDs Purchased?
I went to Amoeba, the world's best music store, a couple weeks ago and picked up these babies:
Moon Safari – Air
Walkie Talkie – Air
The Virgin Suicides Soundtrack – Air
Some Cities – Doves
Not Going Anywhere – Keren Ann
Nolita – Keren Ann

Playing Right Now?
"In Heaven" – Fatboy Slim – You've Come A Long Way, Baby

Five Favorites?
But this would only make the other songs jealous… Actually, it's just too hard to narrow down. I guess I could instead choose five songs that are in heavy rotation on iTunes right now:
"Surfing on a Rocket" – Air
"Don't Stop" – Brazilian Girls
"Que Onda Guero" – Beck
"Get Your Snack On" – Amon Tobin
"Basmati" – Daniela MοΏ½ller/dZihan & Kamien

Oh, and as a special bonus – I made my very own "song" last night using GarageBand! I am very proud, yes indeed… no matter what J says (that it sounds like the soundtrack to a copsploitation TV show…) πŸ˜‰

And so now, without further ado, for your delight and delectation, I present:

May 13, 2005

My new all-time favorite time waster!

Posted in lovey, music at 4:17 pm by Marise Phillips

For the past few months, ever since J's friend Richard sent us a couple of really good mixed CDs he made, I have been inspired to try my hand at one. And I'm not talking about your basic choose-a-bunch-of-songs-that-express-your-deepest-feelings sort of mix…

(Oh god yes, I was was the hugest mix-tape nerd; every new guy I fell in love with became the "lucky" recipient of their very own made-by-RiseyP tape. I cringe to think of the abysmal sound quality that inevitably marred those otherwise brilliant creations… But I never had any decent recording gear!But when CDR drives got to be standard equipment on computers those times of fuzzy, quiet, crackly tapes that took *days* to record gave way to a new age of quicker, easier and cheaper digital compilations!)

But I digress. I wanted to make something more like a real DJ mix. I wanted to blend the tracks together (not in a super-fancy way, as I'm too lazy/cheap to look into let alone buy all the crap needed to do that kind of thing really well) and i wanted to have snarky-but-relevant spoken word clips mixed in. So I started to brainstorm what music R would like, and decided to poke around online for sound clips. I had no idea how easy they would be able to find and download from my work PC (where I can't have a p2p client, obviously).

So, uh, yeah. OMG, there's TONS of stuff out there!!!! Gawd, if it weren't the busiest week of work I've had since I started this new job, I would have amassed an amazing collection by now. But every single spare moment I could carve out this week, I spent grabbing free .wav and .mp3 files from TV, movies, etc. It was sooo fun!

A few of my current favorites:

At any rate, I ended up making a CD for J instead, as his birthday is tomorrow, and I love making little things for him! (Richard's CD can wait.)

And also for my lovey's birthday, we're going up to Tahoe and staying at the Resort at Squaw Creek for the weekend with our friend N. J'll probably snowboard tomorrow (at some places, they're keeping the lifts open til July 4th!), and me & N will do spa thingies. Yay!

April 1, 2005

My new favorite web radio station

Posted in internets, music at 4:25 pm by Marise Phillips

Brit Pop: Sour Times

A band list: Aphex Twin, Arab Strap, Syd Barrett, Shirley Bassey, Blur, Boards of Canada, Broadcast, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Elbow, Brian Eno, Gorillaz, Groove Armada, PJ Harvey, Even Johansen, Lamb, Leftfield, Massive Attack, Mogwai, Mr. Scruff, Orb, Beth Orton, The Pastels, Pink Floyd, Plaid, Portishead, Primal Scream, Pulp, Radiohead, Reindeer Section, Slowdive, Spiritualized, Starsailor, Tin Star, Travis, UNKLE, The Verve, Zero 7

Yay! I love the internets!